If a gay couple adopts a child in New York, they’re now entitled to list both names on the birth certificate as parents. In Louisiana, that’s not allowed, owing to adoption regulations that forbid “single” (read: unwed) individuals from even adopting children there. But what if a gay Louisiana couple adopts a child from New York? Well, things get murky, until they don’t:
Louisiana has 15 days to add the names of both fathers to the birth certificate of a boy born in Shreveport and adopted by a gay couple from out-of-state, a federal judge has ruled. The state is asking the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the ruling by U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey, and to halt the order in the meantime, state Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said Thursday.
“The federal district court has significantly misinterpreted Louisiana vital records law, forcing Louisiana to import and adopt New York law,” he wrote in a brief e-mailed statement.
Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith, who now live in San Diego, but adopted the boy in New York state, want both their names on his birth certificate.
State officials say that’s illegal because, under Louisiana law, two single people cannot adopt a child. Zainey ruled in December that because the adoption became formal in New York, the Office of Vital Records must recognize that state’s adoption law on the matter. New York officials decided in January that same-sex couples could list both names on their children’s birth certificates. [SJMN]